RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday that households enrolled in the Food and Nutrition Services program will see their benefits increase by 25% effective October 1, 2021, as part of a ‘a national reassessment of benefit amounts by the US Department of Agriculture.
More than 1.6 million people are registered with the SNSF in North Carolina
The increase is the result of a congressional re-evaluation of the program to determine if it reflects the current cost of a nutritionally adequate diet. This is the largest benefit increase in the program’s history, with the average monthly benefit per person increasing from $ 121 to $ 157. The amount was last revised in 2006.
More than 1.4 million North Carolinians face hunger and among them 419,470 are children, according to Feeding America. That’s one in seven people and one in five children. Food insecurity is associated with many adverse health effects, from high blood pressure to diabetes to mental illness. Children are particularly susceptible to the negative impacts of a lack of access to healthy foods because their brains and bodies are still developing.
This permanent 25% increase in SNSF benefits will begin at the same time as a temporary 15% increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic will end on September 30.
âHaving enough nutritious food each day is an essential part of health and well-being,â said Susan Gale Perry, NCDHHS Deputy Chief Secretary for Opportunity and Well-being. âToo many of our citizens in North Carolina are food insecure. It will help hundreds of thousands of North Carolina families – many with young children – keep nutritious food on the table. “
SNAP is credited with lifting millions of people out of poverty every year. It helps families buy adequate food, reduces poverty and helps stabilize the economy during recessions.
More information about the North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services Program can be found here. Individuals and families in North Carolina can apply for SNSF at epass.nc.gov.